How do you elope?

You’ve decided to elope—but what does that actually mean? How do you start planning for an elopement? 

An elopement is all about creating an intimate celebration that is crafted to your unique love story. If the idea of a big, traditional wedding has never really resonated with you, then eloping could definitely be the route that your heart desires.

If you've started exploring the internet, you've likely come across breathtaking pictures and videos featuring couples in extraordinary locations, leading you to think, "This seems perfect for us." First and foremost, congratulations on having the courage to move away from the traditional path and prioritise your love story. Now, you might be wondering, "What comes next?" or "How do I start planning an elopement?" No need to worry – we're here to guide you through the process!

Having worked with countless couples, helping plan, execute, and capture their dream elopements, we also know the feeling firsthand. We were once in your shoes, navigating the overwhelming process of planning our own adventure elopement.

We understand the magnetic pull of an elopement and the sheer joy that comes from marrying your love in a way that feels right for your relationship.

On this page, let's take you through the initial stages of elopement planning, address any questions you might have, explore ideas for your dream ceremony location, and create a simple elopement planning checklist to make sure your wedding day is nothing short of extraordinary.

Embrace the freedom of an elopement and embark on an intentional and authentic wedding experience centred around your love

So, let the adventure begin!

FAQ on How to Elope:

When it comes to eloping, there's no such thing as too many questions, and we've got the answers you're looking for!

At its essence, choosing to elope is a declaration of love and a commitment to your personal vision. It's about prioritizing your relationship and crafting a celebration that feels authentically and entirely your own.

While there is endless freedom and creativity that comes along with the phrase, “Just do whatever feels right!” it's important to acknowledge the potential unknowns and stresses that can arise during the planning process. Luckily, we’ve answered some of the most common elopement-related questions that our couples, just like you, often struggle with as they embark on this journey.

Keep reading to discover some of the basics of an elopement and if you find yourself having a question that isn’t answered, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!  


Does Having an Elopement Mean No Guests?


When it comes to eloping, there's no set rule on the number of guests—it's entirely up to you. A common misconception is that elopements are surrounded by secrecy and shame, but we’re busting that myth. In 2023, an elopement is whatever you want it to be. 

While often smaller, more intimate celebrations, you can still have guests at your elopement in whatever capacity works best for you. Alternatively, if you want your day to be a private celebration with just your partner, that’s perfectly fine too!


Is Eloping Recognised as a Legal Marriage?


Eloping is 100% legal.

Choosing to elope doesn't diminish the legality of your marriage. Even if you're not exchanging vows in a traditional setting or before a room full of witnesses, your marriage is still fully recognized by the law.

In Australia, it is completely legal to get married wherever your heart desires. Whilst other international countries might have different requirements, it’s also possible to elope overseas. 

While there is paperwork required, this can be completed either before or after your wedding day. Alternatively, you can hire an authorised wedding celebrant on the day and they’ll handle all of the paperwork for you. 

Here are the 4 most common guest options we’ve personally seen:

1. A private celebration with just the couple (and us!)

2. A celebration with an authorised celebrant and 2 witnesses (we can be your witnesses, too.)

3. An intimate wedding with closest loved ones (10 or fewer)

4. A micro-wedding with a small guest-list (40 or fewer)

Elopements are designed for those who want to embrace their love and emotions, savouring the adventure of coming together as a couple. As a result, there are no rules on who can or can't be there to participate in your celebration.


Do We Have to Include a Celebrant on our Wedding Day?


Absolutely not, it's entirely up to you.

While a wedding celebrant will handle all of the paperwork and the legalities during the ceremony, you don’t need to have one involved on your wedding day if you don’t want to. 

You can organise to be legally married before your wedding day, that way your ceremony is completely private. Alternatively, you could also do this after your wedding day.

However, if you would like to be legally married during your ceremony on your elopement day, then you will need to have a celebrant present. 


Where Can We Elope?


The beauty of eloping is that you can do anything, almost anywhere! 

While there is a lot of freedom in this decision, it can also be quite daunting to pinpoint a specific location if you don’t already have one in mind. 

When it comes to location planning, we recommend envisioning where you would be happiest to say your vows and celebrate your love. It doesn’t have to be specific, it could be as simple as “somewhere by the water,” or “somewhere surrounded by mountains.” Whatever you come up with, run with the idea and explore the possibilities! You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how quickly you can make a list of potential locations.

We’re incredibly passionate about working alongside our couples to create personalised location guides, carefully researching and handpicking spots that align with their preferences, whether this is somewhere local or overseas! 

If you’re looking for some additional inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite elopement locations in Victoria that feature a range of breathtaking locations all across our beautiful state. 


What Happens During an Elopement Ceremony?


There is no specific structure that you have to follow for your ceremony, but here are some of our favourite suggestions…

You might notice a recurring theme in discussions about elopements: Your elopement day can genuinely take on any appearance you desire!

And that includes your ceremony!

Your Elopement Ceremony Could Include…

1. Personalised vows written for each other, by each other. Throw away the traditional wedding script and speak from the heart!

2. Personal unity activities

3. Exchange rings or any other symbols of your love.

4. Do you play an instrument? Sing or write poetry? This could be the perfect opportunity to showcase your talent and serenade your love.

5. Create a ceremony playlist and dance together to your favourite song!

6. Make a time capsule together, include a bunch of items from your wedding day and place them into a box, ready to be opened on another occasion. Alternatively, you could do this now and have a time capsule to open on your wedding day together!

Yes you need two witnesses to get married however, there are a few solutions to this:

1. You can invite two loved ones along to your elopement ceremony to act as witnesses. 

2. Your photographer and videographer can also be your witnesses if you don’t wish to invite any guests. (We have done this before and are always more than happy to step in!)

3. If you don’t want to worry about any witnesses being present, you can arrange to have the legal side organised at another time! You don’t have to deal with any of it on your actual day if you don’t want to. 


Is It Difficult to Get Married Overseas?


The answer to this is a little tricky because it depends on where exactly you want to elope.

We’ll start this off by saying it’s entirely possible to get married overseas.

However, if you have your heart set on legally getting married on the actual day of your elopement overseas, that’s where things start to get a little tricky.

Why? Again, depending on where you want to elope, there could be long waiting periods, birth certificates required, physical passports needing to be inspected, etc. These elements may pose challenges, especially if you're not planning an extended stay in the country before your elopement.

It can be difficult and it can be overwhelming, however, it’s not impossible. 

But it’s important to note that just because you don’t get legally married on your elopement day, it doesn’t make your day any less valid or beautiful.


Do We Need Witnesses for Our Wedding?


Many of our couples choose to handle the legal aspects either before or after their elopement day, managing all the paperwork back home. We've been there ourselves! This approach removes any additional stress and allows couples to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of their special day. 

Remember, your wedding day isn't defined by paperwork—it's the day you and your partner choose to embrace love, adventure, and life as a married couple. If you dream of marrying in a picturesque country without the legal complexities, go for it! 


If I Want to Elope, Do I Have to Hike or Do Something Adventurous?


Absolutely not. The point of choosing to elope is to create a day that personally speaks to your relationship…

If you don’t enjoy hiking and have never enjoyed hiking, odds are you won’t want to include it on your elopement day. 

However, you might enjoy cooking together and being surrounded by nature, so you could find an Airbnb in the countryside and spend your morning making breakfast together in each other’s company. 

Maybe both of you are night owls who prefer the warmth of a fire, cuddling, and toasting marshmallows. Imagine having your ceremony at sunset, returning to your cozy cabin, and kindling a fire under the stars. 

The beauty lies in the fact that your elopement day is entirely yours to shape! It's about placing the spotlight on your love and crafting a meaningful and intentional way to celebrate your marriage. No two love stories are identical, and the same is true for elopements.


How Soon Can We Elope?


At the absolute earliest, you can elope one month from now…

To have all your legal paperwork completed, you need to fill out a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) which requires a minimum 4-week period of notice. Once completed, this document is legal to use for up to 18 months. Alternatively, if you'd like to elope in less that 4 weeks, you can have a symbolic ceremony and then do the legal paperwork afterwards!

Whilst it is entirely possible to plan and prepare an elopement in a short time frame, we would highly recommend contacting a team, such as ours, to help assist you in all of the preparations. 

Having a dedicated team can streamline the process, helping you identify specific vendors, create timelines, and ensure the entire journey is as seamless as possible in bringing your dream day to life. We've successfully collaborated with an incredible couple to bring their epic Broome elopement to life in just 6 weeks! 

Where to Elope

Choosing your dream elopement location might be an easy decision for you or it might be proving a little tricky to pinpoint. Either way, we find some brainstorming is always helpful! 

Having captured the love stories of numerous couples worldwide—from the enchanting landscapes of Australia and New Zealand to the captivating beauty of Iceland and Greece—we, as avid travellers ourselves, share your passion for exploring new places. Wherever you envision saying, "I do," we're thrilled to be there capturing your special moments.

To kickstart your decision-making process, ask yourself, "If I could get married anywhere in the world, where would it be?"

Consider the following questions as you reflect on your dream location. Feel free to grab a pen and jot down your answers! You'll be surprised at how helpful your responses can be in narrowing down the ideal location for your elopement.

Finding Your Dream Elopement Location

Things to Consider

When Choosing Your Perfect Elopement Location
Imagine your wedding landscape. Is it a local or foreign destination? Have you visited before, or are you inspired by something you've seen? Do you picture towering trees or waves crashing along the coast? What draws you in the most?


Maybe it was where you had your first date or the first national park where you went camping together. It might be your favourite holiday destination or somewhere that you’ve always wanted to visit together. 
Many couples choose to weave activities into their elopement, even in the days before or following their wedding. Are there particular activities you both adore or perhaps something you've always wanted to try together? 

Is There Somewhere That Holds Special Meaning?

What Other Things Can You Include in Your Elopement?

What Comes to Mind When You Imagine Your Wedding Landscape?


Do You Prefer The Warmer or Cooler Weather?

Do you lean towards warmer or cooler weather? Is there a specific season that captures your imagination? Do visions of wildflowers surround you, or does the idea of a snowy mountain ceremony resonate with you? If you can't pinpoint a favourite season, start with your least preferred and work your way backward!




Have You Got a Dream Accommodation in Mind?

Is there a particular place you've always dreamt of staying? Perhaps it's a location you've saved on Instagram for the longest time. Can you picture waking up happily there on your wedding morning? 

If you look at your paper and your thoughts are a collection of random words or unnamed places, that's perfectly fine! It's a starting point. We're here to help our couples transform these descriptions into a tangible dream location, bringing their vision to life.

Your Own Elopement Planning Checklist! 











If the date and location are still up in the air, don't let that stop you! You can secure your photographer and videographer even before making those decisions. A significant aspect of what we do involves assisting couples in discovering their dream locations and collaboratively crafting their special day. Reaching out to us early is the key to ensuring we're available to capture your special day.  

Whether before or after choosing your location, confirming your wedding date is an important starting point. Choose a date that aligns perfectly with your desired location and season. For more flexibility, consider a weekday date if you're eyeing an intimate wedding venue. 

Once your location is secured, delve into the legal requirements for marrying in that specific spot. Determine if you want to marry on your elopement day or handle the paperwork separately. Depending on your location, you may also need permits for National Parks or public outdoor spaces. Rest assured, we can provide assistance and guidance throughout this planning process. 

It's time to bring your vision to life—secure the attire that will make your day truly special! Whether you're envisioning warmth for an Icelandic adventure or comfort for a hiking escapade, make sure you have the perfect outfit organised. Consider the practicalities—hand warmers for pockets in chilly climates or attire that allows freedom of movement for those scenic hikes.

As your photographer and videographer, we're not just capturing moments; we're crafting them with you. Together, let's create a timeline that mirrors your vision, blending in activities, portraits, and those special touches you want to include. We'll go over every detail, checking and confirming well in advance, so that when your day arrives, it unfolds with the ease and magic it deserves.

Every bit of planning, every moment spent, all the energy invested, and the unwavering dedication—all meet in this surreal moment. Take a deep breath, savour the sweetness of countless kisses with your love, and immerse yourselves in the enchanting adventure of your elopement. This is your time, your love story unfolding, and it's nothing short of pure magic. Embrace it all and let the beauty of the moment become an everlasting memory.

No matter how meticulously we plan and prepare, life has its own script, and sometimes it includes a few unexpected twists. That's why having a backup plan is like having a trusted sidekick. It might mean securing raincoats and umbrellas if the weather decides to take a turn, but the key is to have them within arm's reach!

Rest assured, we're here to offer alternative options and stay positively optimistic. Whatever plan we put into action on the day, your elopement will continue to be a magical and beautiful celebration, just as you envisioned.

Before reaching out to additional vendors, take a moment to consider the size of your guest list. Whether it's an intimate gathering of 10 cherished loved ones or a larger celebration, think about the details—will there be a celebratory dinner? Speeches, perhaps? Having a clear guest count allows us to tailor your timeline and scout for the perfect vendors to bring your unique day to life!

Now is the ideal time to start reaching out to florists, celebrants, caterers, accommodation, and more, armed with your set date, location, and guest list. For elopements spanning different states or countries, definitely consider local vendors to ease any potential stress.

Similar to securing your date, finalizing your location is a crucial step. Ensure it's accessible on your chosen date. For example, if you've fallen in love with a mountaintop spot but your date is in the middle of winter, some areas may not be accessible.

These Are Your Planning Milestones:

While it's true that no two elopements are identical, and there's no one-size-fits-all planning checklist for your big day, we've had the privilege of working with numerous eloping couples. Based on our experience, we've outlined some general milestones that most people target when embarking on the planning process.

Remember, your elopement day is entirely your own. As you navigate this checklist, be open and honest with yourself and your partner about your expectations for this extraordinary day. Let it be the greatest day of your lives, an adventure that you'll cherish forever!

We're not simply a photographer and videographer capturing a moment; we're passionate storytellers and guides, eager to accompany you on this epic journey of love!

Our role goes beyond showing up and snapping photos. We're here to assist and co-craft the elopement day of your dreams WITH you, FOR you. We're not just answering questions; we're doing endless research, cheering you on with boundless enthusiasm, and ensuring every detail aligns with your unique vision.

The planning process may take different forms for each elopement, but that's what makes it exciting! Embracing the individuality of every couple, we're dedicated to creating an authentic wedding experience that resonates with your amazing love story.

Showing You How to Love Wilder:

Your Dedicated Elopement Team

Let us capture all of your memories so that you can treasure them forever!

Ready to create magic?

Dive Into The Dream…

Have a Sneak Peek at What Your Day Could Look Like!

Step into the enchanting elopement journey of S + M, a beautiful couple whose engagement in Santorini also set the stage for their magical elopement celebration. 

You’ve Made it!

You Have the Tools to Begin Planning Your Dream Elopement!

Create your dream day today!

You’ve taken in a lot of information and hopefully, you’ve absorbed enough to instill some confidence within yourself. 

Take some time to consider your options, explore your ideas and surround yourself with endless inspiration! If you’ve got any questions, queries or comments, feel free to get in touch with us below. 

We wholeheartedly believe that eloping is one of the most intimate, moving and emotional ways to celebrate your marriage—we’re so excited that you’ve decided to start this journey!